Tourist Day

Alicia Strader headshot
Alicia Strader
December 23, 2023

Before coming abroad to Paris, I spent the months leading up to my departure date on TikTok looking at the “day in the life” of people studying in Paris to figure out what I needed to see and where I needed to go out at night. Because Paris is such a big city, I was overwhelmed with things I wanted to do and see. I was also very nervous because I was traveling alone in Paris without knowing anyone. 

Once you begin your study abroad, I promise you will feel similar to how I felt because studying abroad in a new country is a scary thing, and it’s natural to feel scared, overwhelmed, and a little homesick. I came to Paris alone to study abroad while my close friends chose to study in London. This was a conscious decision on my part, and I hope other people have the courage to do this as well. The reason I decided to travel solo without the comfort of knowing other people who were going to be in my program is because, over the past few years, I have realized that stepping entirely out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow.  I am forced to push myself out of my comfort zone and make entirely new friends for the semester (who I speak to all the time now). If I had traveled to London with my friends, I would have been traveling across Europe with the same people I have known for a long time instead of forcing myself to meet new people all across the world. Therefore, if you are hesitant to travel without the comfort of knowing other people, I promise you it will be the best decision you've ever made. 

What I recommend is that you and your friends do a “tourist day” together. This is what I did, and it helped me become much more comfortable living in Paris alone. I had a fascinating tourist day because I was not yet close to the people I planned this day with, and I loved making new friends and getting to know them. This tourist day was enjoyable because it was at the beginning of the semester when nobody had seen famous attractions in Paris yet. Therefore, we all saw these things for the first time together, which made it even more enjoyable. During our tourist day in Paris, we visited the Eiffel Tower and the famous Louvre Museum. We walked around the Seine and went into the tourist gift shops and bought Paris merch.  We also went to Cafe de Floré, got famous hot chocolate, and tried the best French dishes. 

Being able to see Paris for the first time with new friends was such a fantastic experience. I recommend everyone who studies abroad to step out of their comfort zone and meet new people because they just might turn out to be the people you end up spending the rest of your time abroad with and become your friends for life. 

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Alicia Strader headshot

Alicia Strader

My name is Alicia Strader and I am currently a junior at Fordham University. I am an International Studies major and I have a minor in the French language. I enjoy reading, socializing with my friends, and trying new restaurants.

2023 Fall
Home University:
Fordham University
International Studies
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